Demand for at-home COVID tests skyrockets | Connecticut News


(WFSB) – With the omicron strain of COVID-19 now spreading in all 50 states, the rush to get tested before the holidays has grown as well.

President Joe Biden aimed to reassure vaccinated Americans that they can still proceed with their holiday plans without fear of becoming serio…

At-home tests have sold out quickly, which prompted the White House to roll out a plan to send kits to people’s homes.

In the past week, Johns Hopkins University said it recorded more than 1 million new cases of COVID-19.

In Connecticut, the test positivity rate was at 8.93 percent as of Wednesday.

As a result, people have been rushing to get tested before Christmas.

“We were lucky to get a couple cases in, we put them out and they’re gone,” said Al Spitale, a pharmacist.

COVID tests have been selling out in a matter of hours at pharmacies across the country.

In Connecticut, the difference in testing numbers is staggering compared to last month when Thanksgiving gatherings were approaching, according to the governor’s office.

On Nov. 23, the state reported 16,255 new tests that day.

Dec. 22, there were 37,678 new tests, more than double.

The state said it is adding more testing sites.

Though President Joe Biden said his administration is rolling out a plan to mail at-home tests to Americans, he’s responding to criticism that his administration failed to anticipate the demand.

“No, I don’t think it’s a failure,” Biden said. “You could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago.”

Even with surging cases, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, offered a bit of clarity when it comes to the safety of seeing loved ones for Christmas.

He said a small family gathering where everyone is fully vaccinated is safe.

The long-awaited milestone comes as U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising and health officials warn of a tsunami of new infections from the omicron variant that could overwhelm hospitals.

”I want to make sure this is not confused with going to a large gathering, and there are many of these parties that have 30, 40, 50 people in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals,” Fauci said.

When it comes to treating these cases, there’s good news.

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to an anti-viral pill from Pfizer that people can take at home.

Plus, scientists in South Africa, where the omicron variant was first detected, reported that omicron cases appear to be milder than past strains. They also said the country is likely past its peak in cases.

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